Looking at the Real Clear Politics website it would be understandable if you were a skeptic right now about Mitt Romney’s chances of winning today. Swing state polls all lean towards Barack Obama.
Don’t be fooled. Mitt Romney will win and I’ll tell you why.
Obama’s base isn’t as strong as it was four years ago…Romney is stronger than McCain.
Barack Obama won a wave election in 2008 when over 131 million came to the polls to vote. It was an historic election that brought out voters who wanted to be a part of something special. Taking into consideration historical averages and an enthusiasm gap from ’08 – turnout should be in the neighborhood of 134 million when all is said and done. In 2008, Barack Obama won the solid blue states by 22 points (61-39) with a spread of nearly 12 million votes over Sen. McCain. States like California, New York, and Illinois all went for Obama by over 60%. Today, that 22 point margin, according to state polls, has dropped to just a ten point lead and shifts two-and-a-half million votes from Team Obama to Team Romney.
From that list, one state is even less supportive of Barack Obama than before and that’s Pennsylvania. Recent crowds for Romney rallies have been overwhelming. 30,000+ for Romney in Bucks County alone. There is a clear shift in direction in the Keystone State. A recent Susquehanna poll, which has a large sample size, has the race tied at 47 apiece. What was safe for the president is no longer safe, and Team Obama knows it. There is a reason President Clinton has been a fixture in the Keystone state. And the coal miners union has decided to sit 2012 out after endorsing The One four years ago. Might have something to do with Obama’s attacks on coal mines?
Romney, on the other hand, have seen Republican margins rise in the traditionally red states. Romney is up by three points, a shift of +6 to Romney or a million-and-a-half more votes.
That’s four million more votes for Romney and takes Obama’s overall lead down to just 2.7 million votes nationwide.
Don’t trust the polls…
If you think Real Clear Politics is the gold standard when it comes to polling news, you might be looking at fools-gold. RCP includes, just about, every poll in their averages despite some questionable samples and poll weighting. On their screen, they give you the sample size and margin of error but do not give you how the poll was weighted. In 2008, the exit polls identified Americans as being 38 percent D, 34 Percent R, and 28 percent Independent. That’s a D+4 model. Politico reported in 2011 that number had fallen to 31 percent compared to 29 percent who said they considered themselves Republican, or a now D+2.
Pollsters have been struggling with how to weight polls in 2012, most of which have seen their weights to be even more Democrat than in 2008. Real Clear Politics even pointed out sampling issues with a Quinnipiac Swing State poll that over-weighted Democrats. To put into layman’s terms – if you polled a thousand people on who America’s favorite baseball team was but only asked people from New York – you’re likely to get a high percentage for the Yankees. Red Sox fans would cry foul, and have a legitimate point.
The polls continuously told us that Scott Walker was going to have a tough time fending off his recall this past June. Many were left wondering just what went wrong with the polls. It just proves polls can be off, way off. At this point in 1980, it was “too close to call” and Reagan went on to win in a landslide. Why, because the poll weight was way off. Could that happen again in 2012? Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote that “while every single poll on the planet predicts Democrats will enjoy a turnout advantage of three to eleven points, the latest Rasmussen survey of party affiliation taken throughout October shows that Republicans enjoy a huge 5.8% Party ID advantage going into the 2012 election.” If these polls, which have consistently weighted a higher turnout for Obama than he got four years ago…despite the magic wearing off, turn out to be wrong (which my guess they will) – there will be many wondering just like they did after Wisconsin.
As Breitbart.com put it, “If the 2012 race is D+2, Romney’s probably going to win. If the race is R+6, Romney’s going to enjoy a landslide.” The Washington Post/ABC News Tracking poll shows President Obama up by three…but…as said by Ed Morrissey writes at Townhall, “The WaPo/ABC has Barack Obama leading 50/47, but the partisan split in the sample is a D+6 at 35/29/32. That would be the lowest Republican turnout for a presidential election in long memory, while Democrats kept their 2010 midterm performance pace. I’d call that highly unlikely.”
2008 is not 2012
Four years ago, many conservatives and Republican constituencies sat out. Despite dire warnings from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, they didn’t see the destruction to America Barack Obama would bring. John McCain did not excite the base, but Mitt Romney’s strong debate performances have moved voters to want to vote for Romney versus just not wanting to vote for Obama. Politico has yet to see the shift writing “unlike Republicans, many of whom have no particular love for their nominee, Democrats admire and sympathize with the president.” Talk to anyone on the ground in the swing states and they will tell you that more and more people are saying that they are for Romney because of Romney.
Romney continues to draw crowds of tens of thousands in states that are normally blue like Pennsylvania. John McCain was using the Keystone as a bluff, Romney is using it to expand the map a la Reagan.
Four years ago, Barack Obama won Ohio with a strong early voting turnout. The final margin of victory was just over 262 thousand votes. This year, through early voting, those 262 thousand votes have evaporated according to Karl Rove. Indiana is going to flip to the Republicans along with Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. If Rasmussen is right and the electorate is R+6; states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Michigan can all fall into Romney’s camp.
Romney was attacked mercilessly over “47%,” but if Barack Obama cannot get over 47% in a poll – he’s in real trouble.
It’s the Economy stupid & Independence Day
James Carville famously used “It’s The Economy Stupid” to torpedo George H.W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2012 – and Mitt Romney is viewed better by voters as someone who can fix the economy versus Barack Obama. Undecided voters will vote their pocketbook and Independents are straying away from Obama in droves this time around. Rasmussen has Romney up by 17, CNN is +22, Monmouth (+16), and ARG (+12).
Finally, a positive versus a negative message…
Obama’s campaign spent millions portraying Mitt Romney as a felon, an accomplice to murder, and everything including the kitchen sink to make him the most despised politician in U.S. History. It wasn’t hope and change anymore, it was destroy your opponent because you couldn’t run on your record for Team Obama.
Then the debates came and Mitt Romney showed America he wasn’t evil, that he was competent to be President, and the polls changed. Millions in negative ads were wasted. Obama has been forced to close out his campaign with a negative argument versus the positive message offered by Mitt Romney. When Obama said vote for the President out of revenge, that fit squarely into Romney’s positive wheelhouse.
The most out on the limb predictions have been from Dick Morris and the Professors at the University of Colorado who say it will be a landslide. I’ve made the case here where that could be the case, but the most pragmatic prediction is from Karl Rove. Beware of the Exit Polls on Election day, John Kerry would have been the 45th President if they were right in 2004…but they were wrong.
After looking at the state by state statistics, here is my final prediction: Romney wins 50.68% & 315 ECV to Obama’s 48.11% & 223 ECV.
Swing States for Romney: North Carolina (56% +13), Colorado (52.5% +6.5), Florida (52% +5), Virginia (52% +5), New Hampshire (51.5% +5), Iowa (51% +3), Ohio (50.5% + 2), Wisconsin (50% +1), and Pennsylvania (50.5%).
Now, we’ll just have to see…
There really isn’t any soft way of writing this other than to just be blunt: The First Lady of the United States is a radical anti-life person. Read what she wrote in 2004 on behalf of Barack Obama.
In a letter about abortion and the ban on the partial-birth abortion procedure, the wife of then Senate Candidate Barack Obama called this grotesque practice a “legitimate medical procedure.” She went on to say “Oftentimes, a well-intentioned law is in fact a flawed law. That’s why nominating an experienced legislator is so important in this race. It takes courage to cast a vote….Who among Democrats running for the Senate in Illinois has stood up to right wing politicians?” With a track record of voting “present” in the Illinois senate, apparently Mr. Obama didn’t have much courage at all, according to Mrs. Obama.
With the so-called “War on Women” being paraded around by the left, it is important to know that the Obama family has an extensive record of radicalism when it comes to abortion. As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama opposed successive versions of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act that would provide protection for babies who are born alive after an attempted abortion. During debate, then Senator Obama used language that makes you cringe: “That if that fetus, or child, however you want to describe it, is now outside of the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s non-viable but there’s let’s say movement or some indication that they’re not just coming out limp and dead that in fact they would then have to call in a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved?”
How many Americans use this type of language when describing their son or daughter, saying “fetus or child, however you want to describe it.” Or “non-viable…just coming out limp?”
One might say, well no one can survive a botched abortion. But Gianna Jessen did. Watch as she delivered an impassioned message about what she went through.
Michelle Obama closed her letter with some very prophetic words: “You know the stakes have never been higher and we can’t depend on untested amateurs…” Well, it has been an amateur-hour presidency these past four years — and that presidency get its final reckoning in less than two weeks.
It was interesting watching the Sunday talk shows with one in particular; CBS’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Political Director John Dickerson was asked about the state of the race, and conveniently left out the Gallup Poll which shows Governor Romney up considerably over President Obama. Gallup is even clearly outside the margin of error. But in the words of Dickerson, polls show the race is tied.
Here’s the problem with the position he is taking, he is trusting some polls (the ones that fit his narrative and biased spin) and ignoring other polls that paint the picture he wants painted. Polls can reflect the current state of the race, but they can also direct the narrative that in turn drives the vote in a particular direction. If you continue to say the polls are favoring one candidate over another, voters want to go with a winner and thus vote how they perceive the polls to be that day.
The Houston Chronicle Blog ‘Texas on the Potomac’ took a look at the polls after the election four years ago and found out which ones were the most accurate. Topping the list was Rasmussen (hated by the left) and Pew (discredited by the left this year.) Ranked very low was the IBD/TIPP polling firm, right behind it was NBC/WSJ. Even further down was Gallup.
Taking all of that into consideration, the top two polls to consider then would be Rasmussen and GWU. Take out Gallup as an outlier on the Romney side and IBD/TIPP as an outlier favoring the president, and you come out with a Romney +2 margin at 49/47. Clearly, then, Romney is ahead and within one point of a majority vote.
Had Dickerson been fair, and done just 10 minutes of research, he could have found this out himself and painted a more accurate picture – but does that fit his narrative? To be fair, I am not going to say the bias is towards Obama based on ideological lines (although I think one could come to that conclusion) but instead he’s hoping for a tight race because that’s what drives ratings. And 49/47 is still tight, but as I have argued before, a sitting president whose polling numbers are at 47% is in real trouble.
It is also interesting to note that Real Clear Politics is ignoring a significant poll in Pennsylvania. It has conspicuously left off the Susquehanna poll released Thursday showing Governor Romney leading in the Keystone state 49 to 45%. Granted, it was conducted for state party officials, but RCP includes a 10/4-10/6 poll in its rolling averages that is favorable to President Obama.
Could one conclude that again this poll doesn’t fit the narrative of the left hopes to present so it won’t be included by RCP?
This is how polls can drive a vote. There have been instances in the past that voters on the west coast stopped voting because the race had already been decided. Could voters change their votes to be with a winner? Most certainly they can, which is why accurate reporting on polls is so important.
The person for whom it was most important to come away with a win last night was obviously President Obama. After a poor (and that’s putting it nicely) opening debate, Obama had to show his base (much like Biden did) that he had a pulse and a desire to win re-election. If that is all he had to do, then clearly President Obama won the debate. The problem is, that isn’t all he had to do.
If making a case for re-election was the objective, early returns are not looking good for President Obama. A clear example would be the undecided voters from Nevada. Frank Luntz, the focus group king, assembled a collection in Nevada who deemed themselves “undecided” going into the debate. Much like what the group at Hofstra University appeared to be, they were past Obama supporters. In fact, one could argue that being asked an admitted Obama voter from 2008 to convince him to vote for him again proves it wasn’t a truly undecided audience. Reactions by the Luntz group were overwhelmingly against the President. After watching the reaction of this group, it is clear Barack Obama did not win over the undecided vote he needs to win re-election.
“Forceful, compassionate, presidential” was how one person put it. A voter who supported Obama in 2008 said of Romney, “dynamo, winner.” Even a non-convert to Romney said “steady, articulate” in describing the Republican nominee. One even colorfully said he felt like he had fallen for the BS of Obama four years ago and Obama himself had been bs’ing the country these last four years. You can’t get more blunt than that, can you?
But an even larger problem for the president was how people judged the responses on issues instead of the style for which it was delivered: From CBS, Romney Wins 65-34 on the economy. CNN’s poll showed a tighter margin, but still a win for Romney at 54 to 40%. They polled on the deficit (59/36) and Taxes (51-44) with Governor Romney winning on both issues. He even came across being a better leader by a three-point margin of 49/46. While the CNN focus group said the president won, Governor Romney edged the President on the important issue of “who offers a better vision for the future” 18-17.
This point is very important: undecided voters are not going to go into the polling booth and say “Gee, the president won that second debate” but rather their going to understand Governor Romney is better on taxes, the deficit, foreign policy, and is a better leader. This is why Team Obama in Chicago have to be worried.
The narrative from the left is going to be (well already is) that Obama came out to fight and it pumped up the base. But the problem for the president is, that’s not going to be enough. In poll after poll, Independents are leaning strongly to Mitt Romney. Flocking towards might be a better description.
What makes it even worse was the fact that he most certainly had the help of (so-called) moderator Candy Crowley. It was clear, by anyone’s standard, that she would stop a Romney answer in order to give time to President Obama. The cry from the left was that Romney got more time in than Obama in the first debate, even if that is blatantly false. Knowing that, Crowley was going to have none of that last night and the clock showed Obama had more talk time than Romney.
But her biggest problem happened when the Libyan question came up. Becoming a part of the debate is the last thing a moderator wants to do, but by interjecting a fact-check (which she would later admit wasn’t even a fact) to help the President is unheard of in debates. While it was clear before the debate that the Debate Commission made it clear what her role was to be, she would have none of that. She was going to Candy-Coat this debate and she did just that. After the debate, Ms. Crowley admitted that Governor Romney was indeed correct. This thus made her as much a part of the story as the debate itself. (It is funny how one cannot find on the CNN any story on Ms. Crowley’s admittance of being wrong in correcting Governor Romney. Funny, I guess, only if you want un-biased and fair journalism, something that is long gone today.)
However, it may truly back fire on Team Obama and Candy Crowley. If the President had been able to just quickly dismiss the question and move on – perhaps no one would be talking about it today. Instead, her interjecting of a so-called fact-check and subsequent admittance of being wrong is now a story. People are talking about that and thus talking about Libya. The media has been trying to hide the story about Libya as much as they can, one has to wonder if the incident with Ms. Crowley will actually give it life.
We won’t know who truly won the debate until we see more polling results. We do know, however, that if we are talking winners & losers that Candy Crowley was certainly not a winner. The bad news for the president is that he isn’t fairing much better. Ms. Crowley violated her duties as moderator and the president has violated his trust with the American people with a track record of broken promises. The substance seems to be what voters are looking at, and Barack Obama has none (and never has). And if the trajectory continues on its current course, Barack Obama will be unemployed (like many in America are now because of his policies) come next January. And the recovery will be when Mitt Romney is in the White House.
When two University of Colorado Professors trumpeted a landslide win for Mitt Romney this August, many of the pundits from both sides of the isle dismissed it as fantasy. Well…as we get closer to Election Day, that “fantasy” is increasingly looking more like it may become reality.
Their projection is a 330-208 Electoral College victory for Governor Romney, which would be a net loss of 160 for President Obama from ‘08. Keep in mind there has been some shifting of Electors from blue states to red states, but that’s still quite a turnaround from his dominant win four years ago.
Looking at various Electoral College map projections, one could easily dismiss the two professors as an “outlier of outliers.” One should not be quick to dismiss what the professors have come up with, especially considering the Mitt-mentum that has been building since the first debate.
It’s important to keep in mind that when an incumbent cannot break 47/48% in the polls, he or she is in real danger of losing the election. One must also remember the inherent bias amongst most of the polls, oversampling of Democrats, or that they are being conducted by organizations with a clear track record of being wrong. This also plays a factor in a mini-bump for Mitt.
In my mind, there are thirteen states that will decide this election: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Going into the race, President Obama has a 194-181 advantage in true locked up states. With that we’re going to put the remaining states into three Categories: Safer Romney, Safer Obama, and True Tossups.
Safer Romney: Missouri, North Carolina, and yes, Florida (54 ECV) John McCain won Missouri four years ago and Governor Romney looks to have the state safely in his column. North Carolina will be a switch from Obama to Romney, a loss of 15 ECV. Florida, by some accounts, is still a tossup. However, follow the logic I’ll be using throughout this: Romney has a 49.3% to 46.8% edge in recent polling. President Obama is already in trouble because he has less than 47% of the vote. If you give Governor Romney 75% of the undecided, that puts him at 51.175%. That would be a safe Romney win.
Safer Obama: Connecticut, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (53 ECV) Barack Obama won each of these states in ’08 and the fact that all of them aren’t squarely in the president’s column has to be a worry to Team Obama in Chicago. Wisconsin and Connecticut both show the president with over fifty percent. Pennsylvania is just a fraction less. However, Pennsylvania has seen the momentum shifting in Romney’s direction. Michigan is Romney’s true home state and has a huge undecided base of voters. If the undecided break hard for Romney, he can carry Michigan. It is an “if,” but it’s better than a door that’s been shut.
True Tossup States (56 ECV):
Iowa sits at 48.5/47.0/4.5 (Obama/Romney/Und), Ohio is at 48.3/46.1/5.6, Nevada is at 48/46.3/5.7, Colorado is at 47.3/48/4.6, and both Virginia & New Hampshire are at 47/48.3/4.7. When you throw in the undecided breaking 75%, Romney comes out ahead each time: Iowa 50.375, Ohio 50.3, Nevada 50.575, Colorado 51.450, and Virginia & New Hampshire at 51.825. Each state is showing the momentum moving towards Romney and away from Obama. It’s telling that the president is failing to get above that important 47/48%. It could be that Romney runs the table of these toss-up states ending up giving him an Electoral College win at 291-247, and thus the presidency.
For those who subscribe to the theory that Romney must win Ohio to win the presidency, there is good news on that front too. Should Ohio fall, Romney still wins 273-265. And for those out there, like the CU professors (and Dick Morris) who dream of a landslide – it’s not outside the realm of the possibility either. If Romney picks up both Michigan & Wisconsin, it would result in 317 ECV. Should Pennsylvania fall? Well that 330 prediction wouldn’t be that far off, would it?
Of course all of this could change after the debates (and the possible October surprise). Three weeks is an eternity in politics so tighten your seat belts, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
The documentary film The Undefeated, directed by Steven Bannon, looks at the political life of Sarah Palin in what many anticipate will help her launch her bid for the presidency. The powerful film opens with a montage of news clips of some of the most vile comments made in the media about Palin, even worse when you consider she was once on Republican presidential ticket. Those first four minutes remind the audience of how hypocritical the liberals in this country can be when it comes to the issue of tolerance.
From that montage the film moves on to chronicle Palin’s rise to power by portraying her as an anti-establishment Republican who took on the powerful Murkowski political machine in Alaska. It skillfully mixes Palin’s voice from her audiobook Going Rogue with interviews from colleagues on how she transformed the city of Wasilla. Her success and popularity as mayor led to a prestigious appointment to Alaska’s oil and gas commission, which became the basis of her anti-establishment crusade. It was this crusade that vaulted her to the governor’s mansion and eventually John McCain’s pick for vice president. It’s easy to forget that when McCain selected Palin, she was the nation’s most popular governor, with job approval ratings topping 80 percent. The Undefeated brings that Sarah Palin, the popular governor who wasn’t afraid to take on powerful entrenched interests, back.